Synesthetic Textophobia

Posted on: April 30, 2019
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4 scrolls Brocade, various textiles, Chinese embroidery Synesthetic: From synesthesia, a condition when one stimulus causes the sensation of another sensation of a different modality. For example, a particular sound that is heard creates the visualization of a specific color. Textophobia: A fear of certain fabrics. Synesthetic Textophobia draws from my aversion to certain fabrics because of the people they have represented to me. Because certain fabrics have specific associations--class, wealth, vocation, heritage, etc.--I have come to identify specific fabrics with very specific people or kinds of people. In this set of works, I have embroidered text and phrases I have heard from the people or social groups with whom I associate specific fabrics that I have a strong (sometimes involuntary and very physical) aversion to. These were each sewn into a white fabric scroll representing the narrative that is the fabric of my own life, a reference to traditional Chinese narrative scroll paintings. The number four being a homophone for ?death? in Chinese, these scrolls are hung as a group of four as these messages have attempted to destroy my sense of self-worth and belonging over the years.

Other Projects by Evelyn Wong

Evelyn Wong

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MFA Alumni

Major: Sculpture

Graduation Year: 2019

Artist Statement:

I am a first-generation Chinese American, a survivor of multigenerational trauma, a native to the American South, and currently a resident of New England. These experiences gave me an opportunity to have a unique perspective on what it means to be part of the Asian diaspora in America. In my work, materiality, text, Western and Chinese imagery and symbolism speak to my liminality of existing between cultures.  My explorations using artist’s books as a conceptual device reference Chinese and Asian American topics, including histories and narratives, legends and mythology, as well as culture and traditions, in order to bring visibility to the presence of this diasporic population in the United States.